As I sit idly scrolling through my social media and news feeds, I see chaos.
Political, racial, and social justice are all at a standstill. Different opinions incite rage from friends and family, leaving a wave of broken relationships, careers, and even marriages. Add a pandemic to the mix, and suddenly, our idea for a better tomorrow has come to a halt as the “American Dream” has now become nothing but a distant mirage on a screen and the search for meaning has become elusive. Where do we go from here?
How about we stop constantly checking our phone?
Technology Is Changing Our Behavior
The mainstream media and advertising geniuses have a secret. Spend some time swiping on your phone, and after an hour or so, you have an itch to buy more stuff. Interesting, huh? Not only that, but spending an excessive amount of time online has waged war on how you see yourself, others, and the world.
We’ve been fed the lie that the key to happiness is just a click away.
In fact, Netflix put out a documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” on how Big Tech sells our personal scrolling habits to advertisers whose goal is to get us addicted to our phones by inclining us to make impulse purchases, along with smothering us with certain political and main streams of thought.
Why has the world become so hostile? Why do we judge others so quickly, or measure our personal happiness against whether or not we’re hitting the same marks as our peers? Why do we call those with differing political opinions “conspiracy theorists?” We’re promised wealth, health, happiness, and a firmer butt, but (pun intended), in actuality, we’ve been pitted against each other, and we can’t see past the haze of political sewage and tempting click-bait. We’ve been fed the lie that the key to happiness is just a click away, while our core values and lasting happiness are at stake.
Are We Better or Bitter?
What we need goes way deeper than the latest technology, news, or eyelashes for days, (although I’m a huge fan of Maybelline’s Falsies, but that’s beside the point). What we need is some serious introspection and a re-evaluation of what we once held important.
No political promise, technology, or more likes on our Twitter have made us better or happier.
We’ve seen that no political promise, technology, or more likes on our Twitter have made us better or happier. In fact, it’s made us entitled, jealous, and prone to vulgarity in how we conduct ourselves. What we once thought would help us “evolve” into a more advanced species has not made us “better” or happier — it’s only made us depressed and isolated. We’ve forgotten what it means to be human.
Life Before Your iPhone Did Exist — and It Was So Much Better
While the current state of the world has been turned upside-down and inside-out this past year, vacations have now turned into DIY backyard restaurants thanks to COVID-19 — and it’s actually not such a bad thing.
What would the world look like if we were to return to life before Apple or Android? Before we began to thirst for the latest beauty trends, or before we disowned someone because of their political party affiliation? What would it be like to have outdoor dinners, replete with honest and respectful conversations? To open our ears to our friends, family, and coworkers — despite them having a different opinion from us? What if we began evaluating someone’s intrinsic value based on the fact that they’re a human being and have feelings just like you and me?
What would it be like to have outdoor dinners, replete with honest and respectful conversations?
I’m no Mother Teresa, but I sure hope that when I become old and possibly incapable of taking care of myself, I would have some respectful and empathetic people around like that.
If COVID-19 and the political and social unrest have taught us anything, it’s that now, more than ever, we need backyard restaurants. And if history has taught us anything, it’s that a family divided can’t stand, a community divided can’t stand, nor can a nation divided stand. So if we’re to hold on to any hope for a better tomorrow, it will take humility, patience, and sacrifice, as well as the ability to have healthy debates instead of silencing one another’s voice. It will take putting the phone down and listening.